After R. Nadal beat N. Djokovic in the quarter-final of the French Open, it certainly ignited a spark among youngsters to play tennis. Athletes like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova inspire the whole generation.
Such players are crucial for the sport as their work ethic, dedication and commitment can change the sport forever. There are some requirements which you need to fulfill if you want to play tennis professionally.
The optics may perceive tennis as a simple game. Players hit a small ball with a racket and win the prize. In reality, it is way too hard. You need training and dedication just to play at a tournament. This is why top players are highly rewarded and respected.
How to start ?
- The first step is always important. Like any sport, you need to start early at a young age. Being a professional tennis player needs your commitment and relentless hard work.
- If you can join a tennis club and start training, this would help you a lot. Learning and understanding the rules of the game from an early age makes it easy to strengthen fundamentals.
- Start competing in club tournaments then partake in junior tournaments. Gradually work your way through local tournaments, and then regional championships. Once you start succeeding, you will have a chance to play at the national level.
- It is also important as a player to compete in events organized by the respective tennis organization of your country. In the U.S, USTA organizes tennis events and junior development programs. Doing well in these tournaments can open doors for you.
Play at junior level
Developing skills early on is beneficial. All the great tennis players started early. Playing tennis requires great hand-eye coordination and exceptional footwork. Once you identify your strengths and weaknesses, you can start working on them and improving your gameplay.
Play at the amateur level
The next step is to play in college. It is a level where you can gain confidence and competitive experience. Taking part in amateur tournaments will help you get picked by talent scouts and coaches.
Apart from getting spotted, you can also receive a scholarship and a chance to compete in inter-college tournaments, ITF, and future matches. These tournaments help get a spot on the ATP tour.
Play at future matches
The name itself is self-explanatory. These matches aim to close the gap between upcoming and seasoned players. ITF organizes these matches and competing here will take you one step closer to the professional level.
Any tennis player who is above 14 can participate in these matches. Overall, it is a great experience just to compete against seniors and learn different gameplays. This experience will help you in the long run.
To play in Future matches, you need an ITF PIN, which is available on their website. It is recommended to look for 64 or 128 players in the qualifying draw as this will increase your chances of getting a place.
ATP and ITF events take place in challenger tournaments. It is the best chance to gain ranking. Many veteran tennis players and those making a comeback from injuries participate here. Succeeding here will boost confidence, will make you competitive, and help you achieve valuable ranking points.
ATP World Tour
Going pro means playing on the ATP tours. Once you turn 19 and reach a certain level by playing the aforementioned tournaments, you become eligible to play at the professional level.
The more you partake in world tours, the better your ranking becomes. The FanDuel Sportsbook will start featuring odds under your name.
Undoubtedly, the competition and pressure will be immense, but securing a position in the top 10 is worth it. To make a living out of tennis, you need to put in hours and hours of training and be regular in ATP world tours.
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